Australian mining company Celsius Resources has secured an exploration permit for its Botilao porphyry-copper-gold prospect in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines.

Celsius, through its Philippines subsidiary Makilala Mining Company (MMCI), has secured the exploration permit from the Philippines’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Under the initial two-year permit, the Australian company is enabled to carry out its Exploration Work Program, to define the observed mineralisation along Botilao Creek.

The program includes regional to semi-detailed geochemical sampling and mapping to generate future targets for possible geophysical surveys and diamond drilling activities.

The exploration permit will also enable an Environmental Work Program that outlines environmental protection and enhancement activities during the exploration period.

In addition, the permit allows the company to carry out a Community Development Program comprising socio-economic projects, in consultation with the host community.

Celsius managing director Peter Hume said: “Given its location, it is possible that the mineralisation controls in the Botilao Prospect are similar to those at the Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog Copper-Gold (MCB) Project deposit.

“Thus, they may have the same mineralisation style and grades which will be confirmed once we progress the exploration.

“This Prospect, once developed, will bring additional value to Celsius’ portfolio and complement the MCB Project.”

Botilao is a prospect within the MMCI portfolio with a 947.67-ha tenement area, located southwest of the MCB Project, around 320km north of Manila.

The historical exploration work conducted by Lepanto Consolidated Mining in the ‘70s includes drilling diamond boreholes and geochemical sampling along exploratory tunnels.

According to an inspection and verification report by the Bureau of Mines (1973), Lepanto was able to delineate two major mineralisation zones striking northeast.

The historical exploration works and the current understanding of the MCB Deposit will provide the initial working model for the Botilao Prospect, said Celsius.

Together with geochemical sampling, the company would map different rock types or lithologies in the area to characterise and delineate mineralised or altered zones.

The detailed mapping will focus on identified mineralised outcrops to ensure a proper understanding of the classification and controls of mineralisation, said the company.